Established in 2011, Dinokeng Game Reserve is a relatively new wildlife sanctuary in the province of Gauteng, South Africa, and offers a unique wildlife experience close to the city. Dinokeng—meaning ‘place of two rivers’—spans approximately 50,000 acres and provides a beautiful oasis for an abundance of wildlife, including the iconic Big Five of Africa. The landscape is made up of varying terrain and vegetation with grassy floodplains, thornveld, and bushveld that define the reserve, as well as the Mongena Lake and many rivers that carve through it to join the Limpopo and Orange rivers. Dinokeng Game Reserve boasts an excellent location only 50 kilometres from Pretoria, making it an ideal spot to escape the maddening crowds of the city.
Dinokeng Game Reserve is the only Big Five reserve in Gauteng, making it a popular destination. The lush surroundings provide a sanctuary to an abundance of wildlife and safari-goers opting to stay here will encounter the likes of lions, elephants, buffalos, rhinos, and the elusive leopards and cheetahs of the Big Cat family. Other wildlife that can be seen throughout the reserve include giraffes, zebras, brown hyenas, wildebeest, red hartebeest, and tsessebe. In the water, hippos and crocodiles can be found, while bird watchers will be thrilled that there are over 300 bird species that call Dinokeng home, including African fish eagles, the endangered blue crane, and martial eagles.
Dinokeng Game Reserve is generally a year-round destination. However, with most reserves and parks in South Africa, the best time for wildlife viewing is during the dry season between May and September. During the dry season, the vegetation thins out, meaning wildlife viewing is better, and the animals tend to congregate around water holes. During summer, migratory birds arrive, and newborns can be found in abundance.
Just 50 minutes from Pretoria, Dinokeng Game Reserve is a great spot for a weekend safari experience. The reserve boasts a whole host of outdoor recreation for the safari-goer, and the most popular of these is the guided game drive. Led by a professional and experienced ranged, guided game drives provide incredible insight into the resident wildlife and surroundings. Safari-goers can enjoy the safari from the comfort of an equipped vehicle. Furthermore, those opting to self-drive can do so with ease.
Other activities include boat cruises, cultural excursions, and spa treatments in the heart of nature. Hot air balloon rides are on the bucket-lists of most travellers, and what better way to experience the African bush, than from up high, marvelling at the free-roaming wildlife of the reserve.
Dinokeng Game Reserve has a plethora of accommodation options for safari-goers to choose from. Lodges, guesthouses, farmstay accommodation, and safari camps all offer an incredible opportunity to enjoy the comforts of home while reconnecting with the great outdoors. Wi-Fi, restaurants, air conditioning, and swimming pools are such some of the amenities and facilities on offer at some of the establishments.